97 Things About Ethics Everyone in Data Science Should Know:
Collective Wisdom from the Experts 1st Edition
The essay below was eventually published as the #2 essay in this 2020 O'Reilly publication by Bill Franks.
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Look, talking to customers and real people—especially people you don’t even know—takes real time. Time your technical, product, or solutions team could be spent mining the data warehouse for new AI opportunities. Conversations with individuals don’t scale and you can’t design to the whims and needs of every single individual out there anyways. Who has time to go out of their way to have one-on-one conversations with people to understand their problems, latent needs, concerns, and attitudes toward your solution?
Who has time for that when your competitors are out there pushing models to production, poaching your senior data scientists, and powering forward with an AI strategy that must be better than yours?
Ethics used to be a hassle, but now your team can just Ethicize™ your new product, platform or solution with one click!
Look around: you’ve hired the PhDs. You’ve got talented analysts, data engineers, and made a significant investment in cloud this year. The digital natives will tell you that speed wins. Are you really going to sit around and conjure up hypothetical scenarios of AI gone wrong? Your competitors aren’t doing that! While you’re sitting in design jams and conducting empathy-driven research with real people who may not even be your customers, the competition is out pushing code into production and delivering incredible customer value.
Let us shoulder the burden of your ethics considerations with an easy add-on solution that requires zero human intervention whatsoever.
If you’re like a lot of companies out there, designing a solution with ethics in mind is insurance. You need to protect yourself from future risk; after all, you don’t want the equivalent of gorilla accusations coming back at your company, right? Sure, you could exercise the problems you’re solving with a diverse group of skills, departments, and people, create design prototypes, and evaluate them with real people before going to production, but how are you possibly going to cover all the potential risk scenarios out there?
And so that’s why we launched Ethicize™—a simple, bolt-on solution to your future ethics problems that is 100% AI-powered. It’s like insurance for your data science solution and it requires almost ZERO human intervention whatsoever. Besides, the people leading your data teams are expensive employees. You want them focused on developing models and solutions, right? They’re not trained ethicists or designers. Sure, you could simply start to apply human-centered design as a means of building empathy into your solution from the start, but that too takes time, and your data is just sitting there like gold waiting to be mined and shaped into customer value. Lean says you should launch and get feedback. And even if there is an issue with your integration with Ethicize™, since you’re using Agile, it shouldn’t take long to address any ethics problems that arise, right? That’s why you’re using two-week sprints!
So, do ethics the hard way or just click “Add to Cart” and Ethicize™ will get to work integrating ethics into your solution in minutes. The choice is up to you!
Note from the author: if you didn't realize this was a satire piece, that's ok, but I hope you'll check out some books on ethics and consider joining my mailing list below.